Balcatta – WA 2013

ALP 2.2%

Incumbent MP
John Kobelke, since 2005. Previously Member for Nollamara 1989-2005.


Map of Balcatta’s 2008 and 2013 boundaries. 2008 boundaries appear as red line, 2013 boundaries appear as white area. Local government areas are marked as green lines. Click to enlarge.

Northern Perth. Balcatta covers central parts of the City of Stirling, including the suburbs of Balcatta, Joondanna, Osborne Park, Stirling, Tuart Hill and parts of Hamersley.

Balcatta retained all of its 2008 territory, gaining part of Hamersley from Girrawheen at the northeastern corner of the seat. This slightly reduced the ALP’s margin from 2.3% to 2.2%.

The current seat of Balcatta was created in 2005, but previously existed for three periods between 1904 and 1996. Its most famous member was Brian Burke.

When Balcatta was created in 2005, it partly replaced the abolished seat of Nollamara. Nollamara had been held by the ALP’s John Kobelke since 1989.

Kobelke served as a parliamentary secretary in the Lawrence government and served on the frontbench when the ALP was in opposition in the 1990s. He served as a minister from 2001 to 2005.

Kobelke’s 9.2% margin was slashed to 2.3% in 2008, with the ALP suffering a swing of almost 10% on primary votes.

Sitting Labor MP John Kobelke is not standing for re-election. The ALP is running Janet Pettigrew. The Liberal Party is running Chris Hatton. The Greens are running Sheridan Young. Peter Dodd is running for the Australian Christians.

Balcatta’s slim margin of 2.3% makes it a key target for the Liberal Party as they aim to assemble a majority in the Legislative Assembly. Kobelke’s retirement will likely assist the Liberal Party reach their goal.

2008 result

John KobelkeALP7,89742.1-9.7
Chris HattonLIB7,68241.0+6.6
Irma LachmundGRN2,11011.3+2.6
Peter SchofieldCDP6923.7-1.4
Inge GeorgeFF3772.0+2.0

2008 two-candidate-preferred result

John KobelkeALP9,80452.3-6.9
Chris HattonLIB8,94147.7+6.9



Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into two halves, divided north and south by Morley Drive.

The ALP’s vote was consistent across the seat. The Liberal vote peaked at 43.6% in the north, 4.6% higher than in the south. The Greens vote was almost 4% higher in the south.

Voter groupALP %LIB %GRN %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Other votes41.8039.2912.783,749
Labor primary votes in Balcatta at the 2008 WA state election.
Liberal primary votes in Balcatta at the 2008 WA state election.
Greens primary votes in Balcatta at the 2008 WA state election.


  1. I lived in Joondanna for a little while, and was absolutely mystified by the way you have to put recyclable stuff next to the bin on rubbish day. There aren’t any recycling bins, so you just have to hope it’s not windy that day. The City of Stirling (largest LGA in WA) just doesn’t do yellow top bins, and recently had a major argument / break-up with the other northern suburbs councils about rubbish issues (pretty much all rubbish north of the river ends up at Tamala Park tip). I wonder what the Greens voters of Joondanna / Tuart Hill think of that mess.

    As for my guess: I reckon the Libs will take Balcatta. Labor are losing a long-term sitting member and the Lib guy seems to be more of a local, so any kind of swing to the Libs will tip it their side. Brian Burke may actually live long enough to see his old seat turn blue. Hopefully he’ll watch that happen, then depart WA politics forever. He’s trashed two separate WA Labor govts already, he doesn’t need to be let anywhere near a third.

  2. Liberal gain. The ALP has a strong candidate but this area seems to be moving more to the right in recent years, both in WA and federally.

  3. Liberal gain. The polls show a big statewide swing against Labor, and I suspect that not even a long-serving MP like Kobelke could hold out if he’d chosen to stay on.

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